Using qualitative insights to develop and test your idea

Written by on 15th February, 2017


The approach we use here is that of the design thinker. Design thinking is creative strategy used to consider and resolve problems, typically drawing on a resource of tools that help to uncover insights, user stories, and user journeys. These all give us useful clues and direction for the development of our product or service and they are based on real feedback and evidence.

Understand the people you want to engage
Getting information on their behaviours, habits, lifestyles and expectations will help you design and refine your idea to work better. Doing this is a research exercise in itself, one where you can interview people and get their insights and capture them on individual cards.
Personas are a good way to get you on the same page as the users. By making small cards that represent a persona, you can use them in the early prototyping stage.

Prototype your idea
So when you are looking for feedback on your idea, you’ll need to prototype it as easily as you can, to communicate the idea to someone. This may be a drawing or a Play-Doh mockup, or it may be a website screen. Prototyping isn’t just a one off, it’s a case of trying things time and time again until you’ve ironed out the issues and potential pitfalls. It also doesn’t exist in isolation, getting people using it in situ is where you will get the most insight.

Map your customer’s journey steps
Initially you can note the different touch points that you might expect the customer to go through, on a chart. Then go out and observe carefully as someone uses your prototype in the environment that it’s made for. Watch quietly and make notes and take photos during the process.

You can ask the user for their honest thoughts and ideas on how to improve and develop it. Ask open questions, for example:

There are many more ways of gathering insights about your product or service that save you time and energy in the long run.

Designing without research, is like getting into a taxi and just “drive”.

Michelle Rose-Innes